Postdoctoral Researcher Position (m/f/d) in AI/ML supported seafloor mapping



Software Engineering, Customer Service, Data Science
Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2023

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation under public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the State of Schleswig-Holstein (10%). It is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine research.

Through our research and our commitment to the transfer of knowledge and technology, we contribute significantly to the preservation of the function and protection of the ocean for future generations. The ocean floor as one of the last frontiers remains so far largely unexplored but recent initiatives (e.g., Seabed 2030) aim at increasing the proportion of terrain mapped with hydroacoustic methods. With increasing coverage, machine-learning and/or artificial intelligence methods are required to extract critical information on the nature of the seabed, e.g., for habitat mapping, geology, and marine spatial planning. The “KIMERA” project aims at developing (semi-)automated techniques for the remote predictive mapping of the ocean floor (geology and habitats) in order to support responsible marine spatial planning that balances economic interests with the needs for environmental conservation and restoration. The project is funded for 36 months through the State of Schleswig-Holstein.

The research unit Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems (Marine Mineral Resources Group) of the research division Dynamics of the Ocean Floor is offering a

Postdoctoral Researcher Position (m/f/d)

in AI/ML supported seafloor mapping

starting 1st October 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job Description

The successful candidate is expected to independently develop methods and algorithms for the supervised and ultimately (semi-) automated classification of the ocean floor based on the integration of multiple geospatial datasets at different resolutions (e.g., hydroacoustic, geophysical, and geological data). The compilation of datasets will be supported by other team members and technical support (cloud computing, development of an annotation service and training data) will be provided through a regional industry partner.



  • PhD in natural or computer sciences with emphasis on geosciences
  • At least two first author publications in peer-reviewed international journals relevant to the project goals (i.e., processing of geospatial data, mapping or computer sciences)
  • Proven track record in the development of machine-learning (e.g., random forest classification or similar) and/or artificial intelligence algorithms in the field of image analysis or geospatial mapping as well as in programming (e.g., Python, R, Matlab)
  • High level of proficiency in English and good proficiency in German
  • Ability and willingness to take over a leading role in an interdisciplinary and transsectoral research project


  • Proven track record in remote predictive mapping (geology/habitats) and/or mineral potential mapping techniques
  • Proven track record in designing an ML/AI focused research project
  • Ability and willingness to closely collaborate with an industry partner
  • Good communication skills including the interaction with non-expert audiences

At a workplace, directly on the Kiel Fjord with many leisure and recreational opportunities, we offer you:

  • Good conditions for work-life balance: We offer, among other things, the possibility of mobile working and individual working time arrangements, vacation courses for the children of our employees, and support in finding a place in a childcare center Kiel site
  • Support services for professional and personal life situations
  • An exciting work environment with the opportunity to provide important impetus for the development of sustainable solutions
  • Exciting topics in an international environment
  • Work in the field of marine and climate research, a forward-looking area with social significance
  • 30 vacation days plus additional time off at Christmas and New Year's Eve
  • Company pension plan and capital-forming benefits

The position is available for a period of 36 months. The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class E13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position. The position can be split.

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply. GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please send your application for this post no later than 22nd September 2023 under the following link:

Online application

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Dr. Philipp Brandl (pbrandl(at)

However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword “KIMERA”.

For further information on GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel or the Helmholtz Association, please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application photos.